We lost our beautiful Philippa Campbell on Friday night at 5.52pm. Philippa's death leaves a big hole in the revolution and a big hole in my heart. She was my colleague and my mate. I loved her very much and admired her even more than that. Philippa was passionate about older people, she set the benchmark high and was unwavering in her determination to build respect for older people. She was also a straight shooter who called it like it was. She would often say: we have to do better than this.... and she was right, we do need to do better. That's what I loved about her - she saw inequality and she called it. She saw ageism and she called it. She saw a service gap and she called it. That was her gift to us - to hold up a mirror and ask us to do better.
Philippa worked in older person's advocacy for the last decade or so, and until late last year she was the CEO of Elder Rights Advocacy in Victoria. The photo above shows Philippa (second from right) and her colleague Cassie at the launch of our Kinfolk project to support older TGD people. Philippa's legacy will continue at Elder Right's Advocacy with CEO Debra Nicholl sharing Philippa's passion for respect and the empowerment of older people. Philippa's legacy will also continue with us at Celebrate Ageing - we have plans to honour her ethos and will announce those soon. Vale Philippa.
Dr Catherine Barrett, Director of Celebrate Ageing
Not everyone is a fan of Valentine's Day - but I love it for a very special reason. On this day six years ago we hosted a symposium on dementia and love and at it we reclaimed Valentine's Day as a special day in the lives of people living with dementia. We challenged the narrow definitions of romanticised love and the belief that only young and able bodied people are capable of love. Love matters to us all; and it matters greatly to people living with dementia who battle dehumanisation, stigma and discrimination on a daily basis.
So we reclaim Valentine's Day; not the fairy floss bits, we want the bits where we celebrate human connection and relationships and love skills. The bits where we recognise people living with dementia as fully human. The bits where we see beyond brain pathology. So, to all our readers living with dementia and to your family and friends - we hope you do something to celebrate the love in your life today. And for those of you not sure what something special today might be, we invite you to visit the Museum of Love to view our online collections celebrating the importance of love in the lives of people living with dementia.
Make sure you check out #TheKiss exhibition, portraits of people living with dementia kissing someone they love. Perhaps you can share a portrait with us. Photo above Glenys Petrie and John Quinn by Lisa White, the Social Photographer.
Dr Catherine Barrett is the Director and Founder of Celebrate Ageing, a social enterprise challenging ageism and building respect for older people.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
(c) 2013 celebrateageing.com
(c) 2013 celebrateageing.com